Standing with Communities: Before, During and After Emergencies

24 Oct 19

Caritas Australia provides emergency response, resilience and recovery programs in 22 countries throughout the world. This support empowers people who are living in crisis, conflict or the aftermath of disasters, to gradually rebuild their lives.

33052619178 9E1525c530 O Java Banten In The Emergency Shelter Labuan Teluk Bente Stachowske Ci (1)
Photo credit: Caritas Australia

Photo credit: Caritas Australia

Caritas Australia takes a holistic approach to preparing vulnerable communities, through its’ Disaster Risk Reduction Program (DRR). Disaster Risk Reduction involves preventative activities designed to increase peoples’ safety, livelihoods and property, as well as build their resilience to future emergencies.

Read more about Caritas Australia disaster preparedness and how they empower communities to protect themselves from disaster here.


  • Over the course of this year, Caritas Australia has reached over 1.5 million directly through emergency and development programs


  • Caritas Australia has responded to 30 emergencies and supported civilians in 20 countries with an investment of more than $7.53 million, this past year


To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope – Pope Francis

46875922442 A190f25bb1 O Tsunami Palu Bente Stachowske Ci

Photo credit: Caritas Australia

Case study: Sulawesi Earthquake

On 28 September 2018, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck, triggering a tsunami that killed 2,000 and seriously injured 4,500. There were 87,000 left homeless. Caritas Australia and its’ partners commenced a Sulawesi Emergency Earthquake response for 2,000 households which gave immediate relief through lifesaving water, shelter and household items.

The Caritas network continue to support the 200,000 who remain displaced, with essential food, drinking water and household items as they work towards rebuilding their lives. Other activities include the rehabilitation of wells and farming equipment to improve access to clean water. Training in Disaster Risk Reduction will ensure communities are prepared for future emergencies. This past year, 14,600 people, including 3,650 households, have benefited from the intervention of the Caritas Network. 

Z Dsc01198 Theresia Kinanti Dewi Crs
Nining with her youngest daughter. Credit: Theresia Dewi, CRS

Nining with her youngest daughter. Credit: Theresia Dewi, CRS

In the aftermath of the Sulawesi earthquake, 25 year-old Nining and her small family were given emergency shelter and essential items.
‘I received a mosquito net, jerry can, bucket, soap, detergent. The mosquito net is particularly helpful when you have small children’. Nining hopes to return to her home in the future, but at the moment her children are top priority, ‘I just want my kids to be healthy,’ she says.

To date, there have been 145,000 beneficiaries of Caritas Australia’s emergency aid in developing countries. Thanks to generous supporters, Caritas Australia can rapidly respond to humanitarian emergencies across the world. Your support brings hope to millions of children, women and men in times of hardship and promotes social justice in times of peace. 


Caritas Australia’s mission is grounded in the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, focusing on promoting human dignity, equality and the common good of all people. Walking alongside the world’s poorest regardless of religious political or culture beliefs.

Emily Bradstreet is the Media Officer at Caritas Australia.